[Fsf-friends] Free without ambiguity and overapplicability

eiidp eiidp@md3.vsnl.net.in
Sat Nov 29 22:43:23 IST 2003

The meaning of any word is evolved through its usage. As it is used by 
different sections of the society, It will be having different meanings, it 
will be conveying different messages. 

Words like 'Free' which is having broad spectrum of usage will defenitely 
raise ambiguity. Level of ambiguity varies with culture and location in which 
it is used. 

Here question is whether the adjective 'free' is correctley represent 
'freedom'. Or whether it is more suitable for something else.

 Richard Stallman, had made it very clear, that FSF and GNU consider ''free'  
as most suitable adjective for 'freedom' in English. He also stated that it 
is not possible to change the usage 'Free Software' as it is propogated by 
FSF and GNU for a long time now. 

These arguments are acceptable. Now a days, due to the intervention of these 
organisations in software sector, 'free' as an adjective to represent 
'freedom of user' is widely accepted. 

However to convey it properly, the usage 'Free Software' should be accompany 
with an explanation for that usage. There still remains a chance for 
languages other than English to use a more suitable adjective for freedom.

However this is not the case with other sectors of the society. It should be 
realised that how much it worth the effort to project a single meaning of the 
word 'free' from a broad spectrum of meanings attributed to it by the whole 
human society. After all, the messages conveyed does matter, not the words 



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